Manufacturers buck DTI’s move to postpone price hikes

Bella Cariaso – The Philippine Star

September 21, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Manufacturers yesterday opposed the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s move to postpone price hikes for sardines and other basic commodities until next year after at least 14 increase requests had been filed.

In an interview with The STAR, Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines (CSAP) executive director Francisco Buencamino said he would air his opposition during the scheduled meeting of manufacturers with Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual today.

“I don’t know what (DTI officials) will say, but I am ready to oppose their call to put on hold the petition for price hikes,” Buencamino said.

The DTI has said 14 manufacturers of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) have filed requests for price increases.

“Why are you talking about prices when prices are only the result of the cost? We don’t have control on the cost, the DTI has. Why hit us on the prices?” Buencamino said.

He said sardine manufacturers are affected by the spike in fuel prices, the depreciation of the peso and the increase in tin cost.

“Next Tuesday, another fuel increase is expected. The dollar is now at P57. The tin prices are also increasing,” he said.

The suggested retail price (SRP) of sardines is still at P18.50 per piece, but the actual should be between P23 and P24 per can, according to the CSAP official.

Buencamino also said the government should provide fuel subsidies for fishing vessels.

“Fishing vessels and boats consume a lot of fuel. The ice plants should also be given discounts. It could help. There are ways. I do not know how they can talk to MOPS or Mean of Platts Singapore on how to soften the changes (in the fuel prices) to address the unabated spike,” he added.


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